If you’ve been to any of the Disney parks around the world, it’s hard not to compare them when you visit. But if you’re like me and basically lived at Disneyland in CA with an annual pass, it’s a constant comparison in your head the entire time you’re at a new park. And while I don’t think that Disneyland Paris can quite compare to the original (one always has their favorites, don’t they?), there are some things they really got right when they created Euro Disney (now Disneyland Paris) in 1992. Here are five of my favorites.
Hyper Space Mountain
Space mountain is a favorite in California and in Paris it’s even better! Unlike the California version, the Paris ride includes a loop, corkscrews and a general more “grown up rollercoaster” feel. The thing that caught me by surprise though, was that the dialogue was in French! Though it’s more stomach turning, the French Space Mountain is definitely more exhilarating to me and it’s a must do when you come to Disneyland Paris.
Thunder Mountain Railroad
At the California Disneyland, TMRR is my absolute favorite ride so, when we got to Disneyland Paris, I couldn’t wait to ride it. I wasn’t disappointed in the least. The Paris TMRR takes you in a tunnel under the water at one point and is in complete darkness for quite a bit longer than its CA counterpart. It feels faster and like Space mountain, just a little bit more “grown up” than the CA version.
The indoor walkways on Main Street
The Main Street in Paris Disney is the first thing you’ll see when you enter the parks and it’s sure to make an avid CA Disney lover feel like they’re in the twilight zone. Nearly identical in layout, the Paris Disney Main Street is just a smidge off from the original. A gazebo stands in the center of the circle instead of a flag pole, there’s a store where the fire station should be. But these are really things that only those very familiar with CA Disneyland would even notice. It did however, make my 7 year old niece remark that it was a “rip-off Disneyland.” I guess we know where her allegiances lie. 😀
But what I really loved about the European Disneyland was the indoor walkways on the back sides of the Main Street shops. It’s no surprise that Paris has more rain than So Cal so these are definitely more necessary over here, however, there have been plenty a rainy day in CA where I could have used the covered walkways to get through the Main Street shops. Not to mention these were mostly empty and a way less crowded way to navigate the area.
They Kept Tower of Terror!
The Walt Disney Studios park is kind of a let down to be honest. It reminds me of Disney California Adventure when it first opened. There are a few things to do but not really a reason to stay all day. Like the original DCA, the whole park is one theme and that’s a movie studio. Of course it all hearkens to Hollywood and because of this, they have kept my beloved Hollywood Tower of Terror.
Tower of Terror is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE RIDE EVER (thank’s Tara and Renee!). Tim even bought my a lush Hollywood Tower Hotel bathrobe before they changed it to the terrible Guardians ride in CA. But here in Europe they have kept my favorite ride just as it was and I was so happy to be on it again. We rode three times in two days and I was just as happy each time. The only weird difference was that the introduction video is in French with English subtitles and the French version doesn’t really resonate with the same eeriness as Rod Serling’s voice. But that was the only thing I found lacking. If like me, you’re missing the HTH, get to Disneyland Paris ASAP!
Like I talked about before, the rollercoasters are more “grown up” here in Europe’s Disneyland. In addition to the coasters discussed above, two new ones we went on were super fun. There is an Aerosmith roller coaster (weird theme, I know), but it’s a dark roller coaster and has some great music to listen to. I was caught off guard by the immediate take off but it kept me smiling and screaming the whole time.
Another great coaster is the Crush Coaster. This one spins while it zooms you through the ocean with Crush, Squirt and the other Finding Nemo characters. I definitely prefer this Nemo ride to the submarines in California. I wish I didn’t get so motion sick because by the end of this ride I felt rather nauseous, but I still wanted to ride it again. If we were there longer and I had brought dramamine, I would have definitely gone for another spin.